Posts Tagged ‘Team Captain’

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will be out of the lineup for up to two months following surgery to repair a fractured zygomatic bone, the team announced Tuesday.

The injury occurred when Getzlaf took an errant puck to the face during an Oct. 29 contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Ducks center has collected seven points in six games, but has already missed eight games with injuries.

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Alex Ovechkin took to Instagram on Thursday to declare a “social movement” in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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In the caption, as translated by The Washington Post, Ovechkin says he’s never hid his relationship with Putin and has “always openly supported him.” He’s simply taking that a step further on social media.

I’m certain that there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team to me it’s a privilege, it’s like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you.

Following a win over the New York Islanders later in the day, the Washington Capitals superstar further explained his public support for the Russian President.

“I don’t try to be politics man or someone like that,” Ovechkin said. “I just support my president and just support my country because I’m from there, and you know, if people from U.S. came to Russia, they care about what happening in U.S. So, I care about what happening in Russia because that’s my home and that’s where I’m from.”

Ovechkin frequently represents his home country in international tournaments, and was very open about his disappointment over not being allowed to play at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as the NHL will not participate.

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The Minnesota Wild have signed captain Mikko Koivu to a two-year contract extension worth $11 million, the team announced Monday.

Koivu will carry a cap hit of $6.75 million in the final season of a seven-year contract signed in 2010. Once his extension kicks in, he’ll earn $5.5 million per campaign.

The Wild centerman has been consistent throughout his career in Minnesota, and is the club’s all-time leader in games played, assists, and points.

In 80 games last season, Koivu, 34, recorded 18 goals and 40 assists, marking his highest point total since 2010-11. Koivu also led all Wild forwards in averaging 19:07 in ice time, and won 55.2% of faceoffs, good enough to earn recognition as a Selke Trophy finalist.

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CHICAGO (AP) Coming off perhaps the worst season of his career, Jonathan Toews sees only one way forward.

Learn from the past. Apply those lessons to right now. Relish every moment.

It’s just that simple. In the wake of another empty postseason, the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks went in search of what he lost over the years. The final result is one of the biggest keys to Chicago’s immediate future.

”I think there’s a lot of years that have been adding up, where I think you have some little nagging things that kind of pile up that you want to get rid of,” Toews said Friday after his first day on the ice at training camp.

”I wanted to get back to just playing a more skill game,” he continued, ”getting back to just regaining my athleticism, my ability to move laterally and skate with the puck and a lot of that is just being able to get that mobility, get that ability to skate properly back. Just worked on a lot of skill, worked on a lot of just getting the body to feel right again.”

For years, Toews was one of the most dependable players in the NHL. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP when Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He hoisted the Cup again in 2013 and 2015.

But Toews, who turns 30 in April, had no goals and six assists when the Blackhawks were eliminated by the Blues in seven games in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs. Then the All-Star center slipped to a career-low 21 goals and plus-7 rating in 72 games last season.

Toews was outplayed by Ryan Johansen and Nashville’s top line as the Predators swept the top-seeded Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs in April. Still, he rejects the notion that this season is any more important than his previous time in the league.

”I think every year is a big year for me,” he said. ”You look back on some of the years that maybe snowballed in the wrong direction or some years where you feel maybe you underperform offensively, at the end of the day you just try and identify what things you can do differently, learn from them, and apply them to where you’re going next.

”So I think just trying to come in with that experience and trying to enjoy it and trying to have fun, trying to enjoy the challenge of being better than I was last year.”

Part of Toews’ decline in production traces to a revolving door at his left wing. But the Blackhawks think they might have solved that problem by reacquiring Brandon Saad in a blockbuster deal with Columbus in June.

Saad was a key performer for each of Chicago’s last two titles before he was traded to the Blue Jackets in 2015. He was reunited with Toews on the first day of practice on a line with Richard Panik, who set career highs with 22 goals and 22 assists last season.

”You look at the line, it’s almost like, it’s an intimidating line to play against,” teammate Patrick Kane said. ”They’re fast, they’re strong, they’re strong on the puck, they’re good with the puck possession, they can score goals. Obviously they’re going to be responsible defensively. It looks like that line’s going to be a good one for us this year.”

Toews, Saad and Panik showed some chemistry right away, and they might be Chicago’s only line combination at the moment that looks like a sure bet for opening night against two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh on Oct. 5.

While Toews’ scoring slipped last season, he finished with 37 assists, right in line with his career numbers. He helped Panik turn into a steady presence, and coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t sound a bit concerned about how Toews will perform this year.

”Jonny’s approach is that he wants to be the best he can be,” Quenneville said. ”I think he had a good summer in how he trained and how he’s prepared and he’s excited.”

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John Tavares will keep an eye on the business side of hockey this season.

The New York Islanders captain, who’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, is willing to negotiate terms of an extension during the regular season, he told NHL.com’s Brian Compton on Thursday.

That obviously gives both sides a much bigger window within which to reach an agreement, although a bit of a cloud of uncertainty will hang over the situation until a deal is reached with the Islanders or otherwise.

Ownership has made it clear the face of the franchise won’t reach a state of free agency, while Tavares recently stated things are a lot more complicated than people realize.

Meanwhile, the countdown to July 1, 2018 rolls on.

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Connor McDavid was disappointed to see two teammates and friends get traded, but he understands that’s just part of the game.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner is still processing the departures of Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, who were traded away in separate deals about a year apart.

“It never gets easier,” McDavid told Postmedia’s Mike Zeisberger. “Jordan’s a great friend. We’re really close. He did a lot for me coming in as a young guy, taking me around Edmonton and kind of taking care of me.

“It’s never easy to lose a friend like Jordan or Taylor. It sucks.”

Eberle was sent to the New York Islanders for Ryan Strome on June 22, and Hall was traded to the New Jersey Devils on June 29, 2016 in a controversial deal for defenseman Adam Larsson.

McDavid said he was first struck by the frequency of player movement back in his junior days.

“Two months into my second season my roommate got traded. And for me, it was like: ‘This is insane … You can’t get close to anyone.’ It was so hard for me.

“And then a week later, my other buddy got traded. So, it was like two of my best buddies in the whole world on the team got traded in a week. So for me, it was kind of a rude awakening.”

The 20-year-old superstar knows it’s a reality of the sports world, but the departures haven’t stopped him from keeping in touch with his former teammates.

“Now, in the past two seasons, losing (Hall) and (Eberle) and all these different guys, it just goes to show you that it is a business,” McDavid said. “But friendships do last. I talk to Taylor all the time, I was at (Jordan’s) wedding … so, like I said, friendships last. Those are the types of bonds you get when you are on a team.”

McDavid and Eberle played together for the last two seasons, and Hall played with McDavid during the 2015-16 campaign. Hall and Eberle were teammates for six seasons beginning in 2010-11.

All three players were first-round picks, with McDavid and Hall going first overall in 2015 and 2010, respectively. Eberle was Edmonton’s 22nd overall selection in 2008.

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The ongoing contract saga between John Tavares and the New York Islanders seems to be farther from a resolution than ever before.

Last week, it was reported that the two sides had yet to even discuss financial details of a new deal, and this week, Tavares himself fanned the flames of speculation.

“Things are a lot more complicated than they think,” Tavares told Brian Compton of NHL.com. “I think everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s circumstances are different, but you look at some of the situations with guys in similar situations that I’m in, it doesn’t always happen the first day or that first month. It takes time.

“It’s a big decision in your life and you want to make sure you’re thorough and you understand everything going forward, so I think anybody making any decision like this in life would approach it the same way.”

Before Tavares commits to the Islanders long term, it’s obvious he’s waiting to see where the club will even be playing its future home games, as the team is expected to put forth a new arena proposal for the Belmont Park site within the next few weeks.

“I’ll take everything into consideration,” Tavares said.

“When the time is right, it’ll all work out. It’s hard for me to just sit here and say what-ifs, because I don’t like to look at it that way. You obviously have an idea of the future and things you want to understand and have an idea, but at the same time, I really try to live in the present.”

Unless the Islanders and Tavares have some unforeseen breakthrough in contract talks over the next few months, he will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2018.